Posts Tagged ‘Cycle Maven’

Endtroducing… Lisa

September 30, 2008

I should have done this a long time ago. Hi, I’m Lisa.
girl meets bike
I’ve been on a bike since forever.

girl meets 1st bike

girl meets 1st bike

OK, so it’s a trike, but you get the point.
Riding a bike always meant freedom; that freedom manifests itself in new and amazing ways with each style of bike, each type of bike riding. Because I took dance class as a child (like many women) I’ve learned good balance, so cycling came easy to me.

Collage of girl on bike

Collage of girl on bike

I’ve dabbled in many areas from racing, to charity riding, coaching to fittings, wrenching, to clothing sales. I’ve loved it all, even through injury. I’ve loved road and tri, mtb and SS mtb, fixed gear commuting and track (and even BMX, though I suck at it).
I currently own seven bikes. That is B = (n – 1), where B is the number of bikes that I have, and n is the number of bikes that “I think I need”.
Yes, I ride them all, except for the one I want to sell, and the BMX.
I live in the mountains, but that’s OK, because I like climbing, AND going fast.
I’m naturally shy, but I’m from NYC and worked my way through college as a bartender, so I’ve learned to compensate intelligently, and in a friendly way, to get my point across.
I was a double major in Physics and Geology, and in Grad school I specialized in “Planetary Physics”, or, “the physical and mechanical study, and analysis of other planets”.
I also have a background in the fashion industry, and comic book industry (though that’s about a million years ago).

I have a high IQ; I no longer apologize for being smart, even though smart women don’t seem to be very popular right now (OK, political snarkiness alert). I still speak like a New Yawker, which sometimes embarrasses me, because I think it sounds less intelligent than my mother-in-law’s London accent. I realize that this my own brand of warped perception and stereotype, but there it is. That’s why my “new york tourette’s” sometimes offends, and my use of GRE words sometimes confuses, but I am who I am. I have no problem with curbing either language when asked.

I believe that these qualities and qualifications, allow me to take a look at the relationship between women and bikes in an empathetic, but scientific way. The results have been my articles and reviews on this blog, which will soon be in magazine format, with other contributors.

Since I’m shy and paranoid (paranoia is an endearing NY trait), that’s as much as you get about me, as a person.
Endtroducing, Lisa. girl on bike

The This Changes EVERYTHING Sale!!!

September 13, 2008

I’m having a SUPER SALE right now at

Everything in the store is on sale, most items 30% off, some up to 50% off!
But hurry, as the SUPER SALE sale ends next Sunday Sept 21.

Why? Because I’m changing everything! Well, almost…

CycleMaven.Net which is the Women’s Cycling services, and which is my online store,
will now be

Girl Meets Bike at

But I also wanted someplace to express my opinions, and also share the wonderful blogs of other women cyclists, share how-to videos, reviews of bikes by women, and reports from the racing seen. Thus, the idea of a Webzine was born. I hope to bring women on bikes all over the world together, to learn more, have fun playing with cycling fashion, or whatever!
So, coming sooon….

Ya got that?

Any confusion, just head to the Hub Girl Meets Bike
I hope that these names will be easier to remember, and that the sites are more fun for gals to explore.
Girl Meets Bike — Shop Read Learn Ride

Shop  Learn  Read  Ride

Shop Learn Read Ride


July 1, 2008

It’s certainly not the first injury I’ve ever had, and likely it won’t be the last (because, I plan the to active for as long as I live).
What happened
Danskin Sprint Triathlon was taking place in Disneyland!
WAY back in the days when I was a triathlete, most of the tris were olympic distances, to half Ironmans, so that’s what I did. Those tris ranged from “epic!” to “too fucking long”. I was totally psyched for doing my first tri in over fifteen years as a sprint, which means that it would be done in under two hours. Now, I’m a cyclist first, at this point, but I convinced myself that:
I could add in a swim at the gym easily, right?
Oh, and then there’s that run bit. Well, since my snowboarding accident ~five years ago, my ankle turns whenever I run, but I can correct that with shoes, right?
And it’s only, like, 2 and a half miles, so if I want to, I can walk it, right?
(OK, anyone who’s been in a triathlon knows that, if you do well in the first two legs, you’re not likely to just say, okay, here’s where I just stroll along as if I’m no longer competing, while all the people that you’ve just past, now pass you).
And I know gals that will be there, some of which I’ve coached, so it will be a good environment, no matter what, right?
So, I enter.
I’d been walking in vibrams five fingers on trail, and loving it. I’d heard that some people had success with “barefoot running” in vibrams, so I figured I’d give it a try. I started with one to two mile walk-run-walks, on trail, and progressed slowly over the course of the month, with a bit more run and less walk. My times were substantially down from running with regular shoes, but trail in these shoes meant exceedingly careful footfall, so I didn’t mind.
Move on to Bricks. I did a quick ten miler bike by the beach, with a plan to change into my vibrams, and do a one slow-run, on pavement. I stretched in between, but apparently it was not enough. About a half mile into the jog, I felt something***. It felt like a hot electrical pulse that started at the head of the Gastrocnemius, where it connects to the Achilles tendon. After that, the leg became inoperable. I had to limp the rest of the way back. Two days later, after elevation, analgesics, massage, and a bit of stretching and exercise, it felt like I was walking a bit more normal. But I figured I’d wait a while before I try another run, and just concentrate on the bike and swim.
I attended AIDS Lifecycle as a Bike Tech /Store Manager, which meant long hours hauling stuff, fixing bikes, and generally on my feet, so it was NOT getting rest. A short jog on a cork track sealed the deal for me that I was not going to do the Danskin Triathlon. After hearing somebody refer to my gait as somewhere between a saunter and a swagger, I knew something was wrong. A doctor confirmed a calf strain.
So instead, my husband and I had a great time going down to Disneyland, experiencing the Danskin Triathlon as spectators, and cheering on and supporting the gals I knew. So yep, I still had fun.

But now, I’m stuck on the sofa,
not allowed to bike ride for a week, with four weeks of physical therapy ahead, and no coaching for the first few weeks. I know that patience is a virtue, but it is just NOT my best asset. SO, as part of a plan to keep me from going stir crazy, we’ve decided to move up the dates that we get puppies. We were going to wait until mid-august, but now that I have the time to concentrate on them, why not? So now I’ve got puppy fever, which is a heck of a lot better than cabin fever. I’ve, in fact, just spoken with a lady that’s fostering a puppy that sounds perfect for us. I’m getting so excited!!! (no, I didn’t just pee myself; really).

What’s Next: Women’s 7 week Clinic – “Conquer the Santa Monica Mountains”
July 19th through Sept 14
Details very soon…

About me “feeling something”.
I have VERY high tolerance for pain in some circumstances, usually internal trauma injuries. What might be hours of searing pain for others, might register as a “hot electrical pulse” to me, or maybe mild discomfort, along with difficulty with motion. I seem to adapt to new pain quickly, which can lead to serious injuries going unnoticed until it gets worse, and inhibits motion, and for example, I start to walk with a limp without realizing it. For me, a small limp has meant torn ligaments, tendons, and worse. That’s why, when someone I know asks me why I’m limping, I usually see a doctor to find out the answer.


June 11, 2008

I can hardly write after working as a bike tech, but I only worked half the hours that others did. I was also in charge of a mobile clothing store, so only worked as a bike tech from 9am – 4pm. My 45 year old fingers are still swollen, but I’ll do it all again next year, with bells on. It was an honor to be a member of such a dedicated crew.
While my wrists are mending, here’s a lil’ something I threw together. I hope ya like it….

How Cycling is Different for Women, Part One

November 19, 2007

As a long (looong) time veteran of road cycling, I remember the days when nobody thought much about how different cycling is for a woman. As a woman back then, I suffered through excruciating pain because there was no other woman I knew of that had solutions to the kind of pains I was going through. In this section, I’d like to address some of those issues, frankly and openly, (occasionally using explicit terms). It is my hope that this blog might give some relief to other women, and to help men understand why Women’s gear and information is so important.


 Here are a few excerpts from an article called  “Cycling and Your Health” by Ben Benjiman (PhD in Sports Medicine). I think it makes very clear, the difference between Men’s and Women’s anatomy as it pertains to this vital contact point in cycling:

“… Why can cycling cause damage to the genital area? When you sit on a firm surface, like a chair, your ischial tuberosities (located at the bottom of your pelvis) bear most of your weight. This part of your body is uniquely designed for sitting and supporting your weight. There are no organs attached to your sit bones, and they are padded by muscle and fat. There is plenty of blood flow through this area, so you can sit comfortably for long periods of time.
Now, think about the size and shape of a bike seat. Most of them are not wide enough to support us directly under our sit bones, especially for women, whose pelvic girdles are wider than men’s. As a result, most bike seats make us sit on our perineums, resting on the ischiopubis rami (the connector bones of the anterior pelvis) and the internal part of the genitals. This area of the body was not designed to be weight-bearing….”

“… in women, the clitoris attaches far back in the pelvis, and the Alcock canal supplies blood and sensation to the genital and urinary tract regions. Sitting on a bicycle seat compresses this sensitive area, cutting off both blood supply and nerve sensation to the genitalia. The normal, narrow, unpadded bicycle seats significantly reduce blood flow through the Alcock canal, and even padded seats are still restrictive…”

 “…In terms of women’s health risks, research at Boston University documents urinary tract problems and sexual dysfunction in women cyclists as well, including both road bikers and racers…”

So basically, women with bad bike seat/ chamois combinations end up leaning directly on their clitoris for extended periods of time, thus causing pain and sexual dysfunction. This also compresses the urethra, thus causes pain and urinary tract problems. If you want to truly understand how much pain this can cause, think about this: the clitoris has about eight thousand pressure sensitive nerve endings (more than twice as many as the entire penis). Leaning on this area is excruciating for good reason, yes?

Yet for years, saddles were shaped for men only, which for women meant leaning on the most sensitive part of the human body. Fortunately, times have changed, and saddles for women have been invented. For me, the single most innovative change in saddles for women has been the cut-out in the middle of the seat. This takes the pressure off the most sensitive area, relieving pain. Since I’ve found a seat that fits me correctly, the majority of my weight on the saddle is directly under my sit bones (ischial tuberosities), and the rest is dispersed evenly on the front of the saddle (sans sensitive area). For me, the Terry Damselfly works beautifully. (One thing that I like about Terry is their 30 day money back guarantee – ride it for 30 days, if you don’t love it, they’ll give you a full refund. They have different shapes for different sizes, and a very good men’s line too,from what I hear.)
The other piece of the equation is matching the chamois with your saddle. This is TRULY where it becomes individual. You just have to experiment, and be willing to ask other women what works for them. Ironically, a chamois that has worked very well for use on the Damselfly has been Bergamo (now Capo Forma) MEN’S Peloton short with “MLD4 Elastic I.T. insert” chamois. The padding is a mirror image of the damselfly, and there’s no extra padding to rub against my thighs, and cause abrasions and/or saddle sores. But this is only what works for me, and everyone is different.
Other Chamois I like:
-Etxe Ondo’s New pad for 2007-2008 available in all but their spin shorts
-SheBeest Shelastic pad, in both the Pedal Pushers, and the SSS shorts

Tips for Women on How to Choose Good Cycling Shorts

November 19, 2007

Things to Look for in a Nice Short

Multi-directional stretch-
This is a good thing for shorts, because it makes the fabric conform to the body better.

Micro-Macro lycra-
That’s fabric that is micro-weaved on the inside to enhance wicking properties, macro-weaved on the outside to evaporate the water.

Triple stitch flatlock seams-
It is flatter (therefore more comfortable) and more durable than a simple overlock seam.

Silicon grippers-
Now on many upper end shorts, these are far more comfortable than the traditional (squeeze my leg ’til it looks like a sausage) grippers.

Articulated Chamois –
This seems the way to go for many high- end chamois. An exception is Etxe Ondo, who make a deliciously comfortable oldskool chamois, now available in women’s.

Multi-density Chamois- The part of the pad that needs the highest density is directly under the sit bones; this is where you will support the majority of your weight. Many companies have varied density throughout the pad, for extra comfort. Good examples of this are SheBeest and Etxe Ondo.

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